Any business that wants to sustain itself knows that growth is essential. But sometimes, it might not be all that easy to branch out. Repair shops often face trouble when trying to go for their next big move, and they may feel stunted or stuck as a result.
If you want to have a successful repair business, you’ll first need to analyze why your growth is stagnant and what you can do to make things better. Once you have a fix on the issue and know how to solve it, then you’ll be able to take your small cell phone repair shop to the next level. Let’s look at why small cell phone repair shops are unable to grow and what can be done about it.
Why can’t cell phone repair shops grow & what can be done?
Cell phone repair is a pretty common thing in today’s world. Almost everyone carries a cell phone and they will need repair services from time to time. This means that opportunities for cell phone repair shops should be abundant, however, that is not always the case.
Like any other business, cell phone repair shops are also limited in their growth by certain factors. Here are some of the reasons that keep them from growing.
Shop Owners Have Disorganized Processes
When you first start off a repair shop as an owner, you’ll be wearing a lot of hats. You’re going to be the technician, the store clerk, the accountant, the manager – everything will be handled by you. With so much going on, you hardly have the time to spare for any additional things like business growth and marketing.
In order for your small cell phone repair shop, you need to look into what you can do to expand. However, because you’re always busy, you’ll be unable to find the time to focus on growing your business. It’s this constant demand that you need to do something about if you want to find more opportunities for growth.
Solution: Make your work more efficient
If you want to save time, you should look into how you can make your business processes more efficient. One of the best ways to do that is to use automation. If a majority of your work is being done manually, see how you can optimize it by making certain parts run automatically.
For instance, scheduling repair jobs should be an automated process of your cell phone repair shop software so that you don’t have to list everything down. Similarly, contacting customers and letting them know when their repair is ready can also be automated. This frees you up to get to the next job at hand and ultimately leads you to save time that can be better used elsewhere. With this strategy, you can cut down on the busy work and start giving your growth plans some serious thought.
Learn how important processes are for Israel Quintal, Founder and CEO of AdCentral, in our podcast episode.
Being hesitant to hire
Most repair shop owners take it upon themselves to overlook everything. They feel that as business owners, they need to manage it all because they can do it the best. But the reality is that there is so much to do at a cell phone repair shop for just one person. Every repair shop owner has a limit to how much time and energy they can give to their business.
Most small business owners would shy away from hiring someone to help out with repairs. This is often because of the new hire’s lack of experience and proficiency, but could also be due to monetary reasons. Having an extra set of hands at your store would be good, but for a small repair shop, hiring a new person means working on payroll and other employee-related concerns. That’s a belief that needs to be changed if you want to grow.
Solution: Start outsourcing where needed
Because of your busy schedule, you might need someone to split the load with but not the time to interview potential hires. More importantly, there may be certain aspects to your business that you might not be good with, like accounting and marketing. To resolve that, you should look into outsourcing your work to save time and maintain efficiency.
Small repair shops are usually hesitant with bringing new people in or contracting them for work. It takes away from your revenue, sure, but the pros outweigh the cons by a lot. For example, you can get a human resources company to manage your hiring process or an accountant for about $80-$90 a month to take care of your bookkeeping.
You could also have a marketing team develop custom content and promote your repair shop for you online. Companies like AdCentral specialize in creating targeted video ads and promotional content for small cell phone repair shops that need it. This has the benefit of freeing you up for tasks that require more of your attention. At the same time, a proficient team takes care of whatever else is necessary. Outsourcing your work makes running your store a lot easier since you won’t be tied down with so much.
Taking too much responsibility
One bad habit that most business owners fall into is that they become too possessive. Because they invest a lot into their work, business owners feel that they need to protect that investment and overlook it to get the best results. This leads to them often micromanaging things, even in areas where they are not proficient, all because they are afraid of failing.
Micromanagement not only drains more time from your schedule, but it also adds a lot of unnecessary burdens. You’ll constantly be worried about how the little things are faring that you won’t be able to give time and focus to your growth strategy. Spending all day in the backroom working on overseeing your repairs ultimately drains you and doesn’t work well with the people you employ. Taking too much responsibility for your business is a habit that needs breaking, especially when it gets in the way of progress.
Solution: Start delegating and entrusting
Being possessive about your business is a part of human nature; however, it can be detrimental when you make decisions without complete knowledge. The best way to deal with that is to trust people and give them more responsibilities to work with. Small cell phone repair shops need to remember that it’s okay to make mistakes and that people do their best work after having gone through so many mistakes.
Once you begin entrusting people with your tasks, you’ll have an easier time devoting yourself to growing your business. The key here is to start being comfortable with other people working on the things you take care of. Being confident in their abilities helps you remain carefree on the minute details and more capable of working on growth.
Not knowing how to start growing
Usually, a repair business owner is a tech-savvy person who can work on repairs. They know how cell phones work and what components are needed. They see the equipment that they need and how to use it. But when it comes to the business aspect of their cell phone repair shop, they don’t know how to make the best of it.
Most repair shop owners feel lost and confused about how they can expand their business. This comes from a lack of experience and knowledge, along with the fear of failure. Running a repair shop entails more than just repair work. You’ll also need to hire employees, manage them, work on bookkeeping, establish strong business relationships, etc. Continuing to think like a technician will only get you so far and changing that is necessary if you want to reach farther. To expand your business, you will need to start thinking like an entrepreneur, and entrepreneurs take risks all the time.
Solution: Change your mindset
What repair shop owners need to do is change how they want to operate and expand their horizons. Look into how successful businesses are run and how to employ the best strategies for your shop. Learning how to take care of your customers’ needs and give them a good experience is essential. Small business owners often overlook these things, so make sure you pay close attention to them. Start thinking about how you can grow and nurture your business, then follow accordingly.
One of the best ways to change the way you think is to enlist the help of a mentor. A mentor can be anyone from within or outside of the industry, but who can teach you valuable lessons. These lessons can then be implemented into your life and business so you can ultimately be more satisfied.
Having a mentor is necessary because they help you view things from a different perspective that you might not have considered before. Their knowledge comes from experience, and using that experience to help better your business is a smart idea. If you’d like to change the way you think about your business, having a mentor around is a great way to do it.
As Ahmed Abusharbain, CEO of UPPLuck puts it:
“We have to have a mentor. I have a mentor – guy I met when I was… twenty-some years ago. And he got me into this business, like from wide open. I mean, he showed me the role and he said, ‘Just go, ride.’ And I just kept trying and trying till I got where I’m at. So definitely, mentors are important.”
Disconnect with the customer’s needs
People who run small cell phone repair shops become so involved that they aren’t able to ask themselves really important questions about the business. What you ultimately need to know is, what exactly is your customer looking for? Until you have the answer, you won’t be able to serve them better, and as a result, your business growth will be stunted.
Most business owners will have a vague idea in their mind of their customers’ needs. But more often than not, these ideas are predicated on what you “think” the customer wants as opposed to what they actually do. Sure, most people would assume that you have an attractive lobby or give service with a smile for the best experience, but that’s all skin-deep. Ultimately, your customer service rests entirely on one single premise – how well do you know your customer’s needs, and how can you give them what they want. Every customer loves good service, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of their time or their knowledge. They don’t want to get bogged down with the details or caught up in the technicality – they’re there for solutions. If your thinking isn’t aligned with them, then you’ve got a problem that needs addressing.
Solution: Understand what customers want
There’s a saying that goes around in business – service above self. Your customers will want to have efficiency, accuracy, speed, and simplicity above all else. As a repair shop, you need to understand what your customer is looking for, give them the solution, and move to the next.
Customer service is a significant part of the business. Your understanding that you work for the consumer needs to be prioritized. When people come to any repair store, they are looking for quality service done fast. So, make sure that your solution is as swift, straightforward, and effective as possible.
The best way to do this is to give out ETAs and let them know when they can pick up their cell phone before committing to the sale. Schedule their repair in a calendar with time slots so you’re more organized and efficient.
In order to cater to your customer’s needs, you need to first build a relationship with your customer and make it so they feel like they’re being heard. Timothy Phelps, the COO of Techy gives a very simple guide to building that relationship:
“Just listen. It’s simple, guys. Just listen, give them that – one-on-one, pay attention. Show them an experience that they’re never gonna forget and that’s the first step to it, and that’s it. There’s really no magic tool to this, give it your all. When these customers walk through the door, treat them like either they are going to pay or you’re going to die.”
Solution: Get customer feedback
Understanding what your customer wants is one thing, but you also need to know how they respond to your business and the services provided. Customer feedback is not just a good thing to have at your store; it’s a critical part of your growth. Using customer feedback, you can analyze and determine what your customers need and how well they respond to your service. Most small businesses often believe that they know what the customer wants. Still, you’ll hardly find anyone with a detailed list they’re tracking and keeping an eye on.
Sending customer surveys after doing business with you and getting their input is the way to go here. Send them an email asking them to leave a review for you on something like Yelp or Facebook. Keeping a short survey card at your checkout counter or a quick survey on your customer-facing display would be great for getting feedback. You could also go for more verbal interaction; just make sure you note their feedback down for future reference.
Since people are really busy with their daily lives, you could work on making the feedback process a lot easier for them. Place a QR code at the entrance to your repair shop and at your counter for your feedback or survey form. QR codes have the advantage of having a small footprint, being virtual, and play on the interest of your customers. QR codes are very popular and have seen a roughly 28% increase in usage from 2018 to 2019. So having one at your store can make it so much easier for people to give their feedback while they’re on the move.
Not knowing how much you make
As a cell phone repair shop owner, if you were to ask yourself how much you make, you’d have a vague idea at best. Your POS system could probably help you out, but in most cases, you’ll only know what your gross profit is. The truth however is that your takings at the end of the day aren’t exactly how much you’re making from your business.
Businesses have overhead costs and lots of other things which need money. Your shop will have expenses like ordering new parts and tools, and overheads like utility bills, rent, etc., and often you’re not going to know right away what they are. Some shop owners might not even know what those terms mean, which is a grave mistake. These numbers are the basis on which your repair business runs, and knowing about them is fairly crucial.
Solution: Get tools to help you with your financials
Figuring out operational costs, labor costs, inventory costs, break-even point, etc., is necessary for your cell phone repair shop, and it’s something you should pay close attention to. Bookkeeping for a repair shop can help give you a better idea of your gross profit and net profit. You may be making a tidy amount every day, but you won’t be able to grow unless you know what your net profit is.
Getting tools that help you analyze these metrics is the way to go. Your POS system probably already has them, and if it doesn’t, find out how you can get those numbers in the most convenient way possible. You’ll want to look at expense reports, sales reports, inventory numbers, payroll management – all necessary for a healthy business. Most software these days even let you view analytics so you can make better business decisions. The easier it is for you to know your profit, the better you’ll be able to operate.